Welcome to Day 2 of the Mega Python Vs. Gateroid OMBC X-Travaganza! Yesterday, I showcased Tiffany. Today, it's Debbie Gibson's turn!
Raised in a musical family from New York, Debbie and her siblings grew up performing in stage productions and Debbie began playing the piano and writing songs, her first when she was just five years-old.
In 1987, following Tiffany's success, Debbie burst onto the scene with her debut single "Only In My Dreams" (click for video) which went to #4 on the charts. While it didn't hit #1 like Tiffany's single, Debbie's career ended up lasting a bit longer. Tiffany managed three additional Top 10 songs. Debbie followed up her debut hit with two more Top 10 singles, "Shake Your Love" and "Out of the Blue" and scored two #1s with the ballads "Foolish Beat" and "Lost In Your Eyes." When "Foolish Beat" hit #1, Debbie became the youngest artist ever to write, produce and perform a #1 song!
As noted by Tiffany in the clip from Bravo I posted yesterday, Tiffany was considered the "dark child" and Debbie the "happy child" among fans. Both performed super-catchy pop music. However, as I wrote yesterday, critics tended to give Debbie more credit because she wrote and produced her own songs and played the piano. (Her unabashed idol was Elton John.) And honestly, I'd argue that Debbie was more "polished." Tiffany's handlers' efforts to present her as just an average American teen may have ended up working against her, as she just came off as too ordinary. A lot of Tiffany's videos were simply concert and behind-the-scenes footage, whereas Debbie's were more elaborate with choreographed dancing and sets and such. And hats. I can't forget hats. And vests.America's late 80s teen pop boom was short-lived, though. Debbie's sophomore album produced "Lost In Your Eyes" and the #11-charting "Electric Youth." Another ballad, "We Could Be Together" hit #17, but her popularity had started to wane at this point. Her third album, Anything Is Possible, struggled with the title track only hitting #26. In 1993, she released an album called Body, Mind, Soul and the single "Losin' Myself" (depicted as "loSIN myself" on the cover) and a "racy" video with Debbie portraying a stripper, in an effort to present a more mature image, but even though it stirred up controversy, neither the song nor album proved successful.
She later switched her professional moniker to Deborah Gibson, stating that that was always what she'd gone by, but that she was encouraged to go by Debbie as a teen because it was more accessible. She returned to musical theater, which she'd grown up doing, including playing a role that was perfect for her, Sandy in Grease. She even scored a couple more hits. In 1997, a dance remix by Junior Vasquez of her single "Only Words" became a modest club hit and was followed by a Vasquez remix of her first hit "Only In My Dreams." Then in 2006, a duet with fellow 80s teen star, Jordan Knight, entitled "Say Goodbye" hit #24 on the US Adult Contemporary chart.
She has continued to record and release music, although hasn't been able to reclaim her 80s success. She attempted to emulate fellow 80s star Paula Abdul, by becoming a judge on American Juniors, a spin-off of American Idol, which unfortunately tanked. (Unfortunate for her. WAY fortunate for the rest of us! Singing kids creep me out!) And like Tiffany, went on to star in shitty made-for-TV sci fi movies, which brings us to Mega Python Vs. Gateroid! Is your DVR set?! Seriously, you don't want to miss this!